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Encyclopedia > Cocoa beans
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Cocoa is the dried and partially fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree from which chocolate is made. In the United States, 'cocoa' often refers to cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the dark, bitter cocoa solids. By itself it has an extremely bitter flavor. Image File history File links AIDlogo2. ... The term Cocoa can refer to: Cocoa (theobroma cacao), a plant Cocoa (API), an API and programming environment for Mac OS X Cocoa (Internet Authoring for Kids), an Apple-designed development environment for kids Cocoa, Florida, a town in the United States CoCoA System, a computer algebra system CoCoA (Compilation... Binomial name Theobroma cacao L. For the town in French Guiana see Cacao, French Guiana Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is a small (4–8 m tall) evergreen tree in the family Sterculiaceae (alternatively Malvaceae), native to tropical South America, but now cultivated throughout the tropics. ... Chocolate most commonly comes in dark, milk, and white varieties, with cocoa solids contributing to the brown coloration. ... Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is the edible natural fat of the cacao bean, extracted during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder. ...


Hot cocoa is often confused with hot chocolate, but hot cocoa is made from the cocoa solids, while true hot chocolate is made from whole chocolate. Hot chocolate with marshmallow For the musical band, see Hot Chocolate. ...

Contents


History

Cocoa beans in a cacao pod
Enlarge
Cocoa beans in a cacao pod

Chocolate and cocoa are made from the beans of the cacao tree, which apparently originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America. The tree was introduced into Central America by the ancient Maya, and was cultivated in Mexico by the Toltecs and later by the Aztecs. Description: Cocoa beans in a cacao pod. ... Description: Cocoa beans in a cacao pod. ... The Andes between Chile and Argentina Computer generated image of the Andes, made from a digital elevation model with a resolution of 30 arcseconds The Andes is a vast mountain range forming a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. ... The Amazon River (occasionally River Amazon; Spanish: Río Amazonas, Portuguese: Rio Amazonas) of South America is one of the two longest rivers on Earth, the other being the Nile in Africa. ... With a length of 2,141 km, the Orinoco is one of the largest rivers of South America. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Map of Central America Central America is an area of the American continent in the Western Hemisphere. ... The Maya civilization is a historical Mesoamerican civilization, which extended throughout the northern Central American region which includes the present-day nations of Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador, as well as the southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and the Yucatán peninsula states of Quintana Roo, Campeche... The Toltecs (or Toltec or Tolteca) were a Pre-Columbian Native American people who dominated much of central Mexico between the 10th and 12th century AD. Their language, Nahuatl, was also spoken by the Aztecs. ... Sculpture commemorating the moment when Aztecs found the sign for Tenochtitlan foundation place given by Huitzilopochtli. ...


Cocoa was an important commodity in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Spanish chroniclers of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés relate that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet and eaten with a golden spoon. Flavored with vanilla and spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No less than 50 pitchers of it were prepared for the emperor each day, and 2000 more for nobles of his court. The term Pre-Columbian is used to refer to the cultures of the New World in the era before significant European influence. ... Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico south to the northwestern border of Costa Rica that gave rise to a group of stratified, culturally related agrarian civilizations spanning an approximately 3,000-year period before the European discovery of the New World by Columbus. ... Hernán Cortés Hernán(do) Cortés, marqués del Valle de Oaxaca (1485–December 2, 1547) was the conquistador who conquered Mexico for Spain. ... Mocotezumas Palace from the Mendoza Codex (1542) Moctezuma II (also Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin) (A.D.1466-1520) was an Aztec ruler or huey tlatoani, c. ... Sculpture commemorating the moment when Aztecs found the sign for Tenochtitlan foundation place given by Huitzilopochtli. ... Chocolate most commonly comes in dark, milk, and white varieties, with cocoa solids contributing to the brown coloration. ... General Name, Symbol, Number gold, Au, 79 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 6, d Appearance metallic yellow Atomic mass 196. ... For other uses, see vanilla (disambiguation). ... External links Wikibooks Cookbook has more about this subject: Spice Food Bacteria-Spice Survey Shows Why Some Cultures Like It Hot Citat: ...Garlic, onion, allspice and oregano, for example, were found to be the best all-around bacteria killers (they kill everything). ...


Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards and became a popular beverage by 1700. They also introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines. It was used in alchemical processes, where it was known as Black Bean. Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one, leading to some dispute as to Europes actual borders. ... Events January 1 - Russia accepts Julian calendar. ... The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ...


The cacao plant was first given its name by Swedish natural scientist Carl von Linné (1707-1778), who called it "theobroma cacao" or "food of the gods". A painting of Carolus Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné  ?, and who wrote under the Latinized name Carolus Linnaeus (May 23, 1707 – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of taxonomy. ...


World Production

Cacao pods in a hand-coloured photo from circa 1903
Enlarge
Cacao pods in a hand-coloured photo from circa 1903

In 2004 the world production of cocoa beans FAOSTAT (in tonnes) per country was assorted as follows; Image File history File links Download high resolution version (753x1200, 272 KB) Summary Cacao pods hand coloured photo from: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (753x1200, 272 KB) Summary Cacao pods hand coloured photo from: http://www. ... A tonne (symbol t), sometimes referred to as a metric tonne, is a measurement of weight. ...

The global production went

  • From 1,556,484 t in 1974,
  • To 1,810,611 t in 1984,
  • To 2,672,173 t in 1994,
  • To record 3,607,052 t in 2004.

An increase of 99.2% within 30 years. 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1974 calendar). ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... It has been designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) 2004 World Health Day topic was Road Safety (by World Health Organization) Year of the Monkey (by the Chinese calendar) See the world in...


The use of chocolate, cocoa and other products is world-wide. Belgium has the highest per capita consumption of cocoa at 5.5 kg, ten times the world-wide average [1].


Prices for the commodity reached a five year high in November 2004; this is because exports from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) are likely to be cut due to escalating violence in the region. Look up November in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) 2004 World Health Day topic was Road Safety (by World Health Organization) Year of the Monkey (by the Chinese calendar) See the world in...


Harvesting

A pod has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick. It is filled with sweet, slimy pulp, enclosing from 30 to 50 large almond-like seeds or "beans" that are fairly soft and pinkish or purplish in color. As soon as the pods are ripe, they are harvested from the trunks or branches of the Cocoa tree with a curved knife on a long pole. Pulp can refer to: Soft shapeless substances in general. ... Binomial name Prunus dulcis (Mill. ... A ripe red jalapeno cut open to show the seeds For other uses, see Seed (disambiguation). ... Traditional Finnish puukko knife A knife is a sharp-edged hand tool used for cutting. ...


Processing

The harvested pods are then opened with a machete, the pulp and cocao seeds are removed and the rind is discarded. The pulp and seeds are then either piled in heaps, placed in bins, or laid out on grates for several days. During this time, the seeds and pulp undergoes "sweating", where the thick pulp liquifies as it undergoes fermentation. The fermented pulp trickles away, leaving cocao seeds behind to be collected. The quality of the beans, which originally have a strong bitter taste, depends upon sweating. If it is overdone, the resulting cocao may be ruined; if underdone the cocao seed maintains a flavor similar to raw potatoes and become susceptible to mildew. The liquified pulp is used by some cocoa producing countries to distill alcoholic spirits. Ç’ Machete For the professional wrestler, see Machete (wrestler). ... Fermentation typically refers to the conversion of sugar to alcohol using yeast. ... Binomial name Solanum tuberosum L. The potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a perennial plant of the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family, grown for its starchy tuber. ... Mildew is a grey, mold-like growth caused by one of two different types of micro-organisms. ...

The fermented beans are then dried by spreading them out over a large surface and constantly raking them. In large plantations, this is done on huge trays under the sun or by using artificial heat. Small plantations may dry their harvest on little trays or on cowhides. Finally, the beans are trodden and shuffled about (often using bare human feet) and sometimes, during this process, red clay mixed with water is sprinkled over the beans to obtain a finer color, polish, and protection against molds during shipment to factories in the United States, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and other countries. About 3,000,000 tonnes of cocoa are grown each year. The Netherlands is the leading cocoa processing country, followed by the U.S. A plantation is an intentional planting of a crop, on a larger scale, usually for uses other than cereal production or pasture. ... Quaternary clay in Estonia. ... A girl in a swimming pool Water (from the Old English waeter; c. ... A tonne (symbol t), sometimes referred to as a metric tonne, is a measurement of weight. ...


Producing chocolate

Chocolate
Chocolate

To make 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of chocolate, about 300–600 beans are processed. In a factory, the beans are washed and roasted. Next they are de-hulled by a "nibber" machine that also removes the germ. The nibs are ground between three sets of stones until they emerge as a thick creamy paste. Cocoa powder is made from this "liquor" by removing part of its fatty oils (the "cocoa butter" used in confectionery, soaps, and cosmetics), either with a hydraulic press or by using the Broma process. With starch and sugar added, the liquor is churned and beaten in a "Conges" machine to produce sweet chocolate. Download high resolution version (800x768, 84 KB)Chocolate Chocolate block in a pool of melted chocolate. ... Download high resolution version (800x768, 84 KB)Chocolate Chocolate block in a pool of melted chocolate. ... The germ is the heart of the cereal kernel, the embryo of the seed, and a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorus, thiamin, zinc and magnesium. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with cooking oil. ... Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is the edible natural fat of the cacao bean, extracted during the process of making chocolate and cocoa powder. ... A selection of confectioneries The term confectionery refers to food items that are (at least perceptibly) rich in sugar. ... Soap most commonly appears in bar form. ... Hydraulics is a branch of science and engineering concerned with the use of liquids to perform mechanical tasks. ... Power press with a fixed barrier guard A press, or a machine press is a tool used to work metal (typically steel) by changing its shape and internal structure. ... The Broma process is a method used to remove cocoa butter from cacao beans. ... Starch is a complex carbohydrate which is insoluble in water. ...


Adding an alkali produces Dutch process cocoa powder, which has less acidity and is what is generally available in most of the world. Regular or nonalkalized cocoa is lighter in colour and sharper in flavour. It is acidic, so when added to recipes with an alkaline ingredient like baking soda, the two react and leaven a product. Dutch processed cocoa is less acidic, darker and more mellow in flavour. For the battery, see alkaline battery The word alkali can mean:- In chemistry, an alkali is a specific type of base, formed as a carbonate, hydroxide or other ionic salt of an alkali metal or alkali earth metal element. ... Dutch process chocolate is chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a more mild flavor. ...


Use of cocoa

Uses of cocoa are numerous. It may be used in cakes, creams, drinks, toppings.


Cocoa has about twice the antioxidants (thought to prevent cancer) of red wine, and up to three times those found in green tea. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... When normal cells are damaged beyond repair, they are eliminated by apoptosis. ... This article is about the beverage. ... Green tea (绿茶) is tea that has undergone minimal oxidation during processing. ...


Issues with cocoa as a commodity

  • Many cocoa farmers receive a low price for their produce. This has led to cocoa and chocolate being available as 'fair trade' items in some countries, but this fair trade remains a tiny percentage of total trade.
  • Slavery has commonly been used in its production: see Cocoa Protocol for an effort to end this.
  • Pollination is exclusively by midges, which may be affected by pesticides.

The word commodity is a term with distinct meanings in business and in Marxian political economy. ... Fair trade products shown at XI Unctad. ... Slavery is a condition in which one person, known as a slave, is under the control of another. ... The Harkin-Engel Protocol, also known as the Cocoa Protocol is an agreement signed by the cocoa and chocolate industries to eliminate child slavery in their field. ... A flower-fly pollinating a Common Daisy (Bellis perennis) Pollination is an important step in the reproduction of seed plants: the transfer of pollen grains (male gametes) to the plant carpel, the structure that contains the ovule (female gamete). ... Midges on a Toyota Midges or Chironomus riparius are small, two-winged flying insects. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ...

See also

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the methylxanthine family, which also includes the similar compounds theophylline and caffeine. ... An alkaloid is a nitrogenous organic molecule that has a pharmacological effect on humans and animals. ... Chocolate most commonly comes in dark, milk, and white varieties, with cocoa solids contributing to the brown coloration. ... Chocolate and slavery are alleged to be linked in contemporary chocolate plantations in west Africa. ... Binomial name Theobroma cacao L. For the town in French Guiana see Cacao, French Guiana Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is a small (4–8 m tall) evergreen tree in the family Sterculiaceae (alternatively Malvaceae), native to tropical South America, but now cultivated throughout the tropics. ... Flash point N/A RTECS number EV6475000 Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa) Infobox disclaimer and references Caffeine (sometimes called mateine when found in mate, and theine when found in tea) is a xanthine alkaloid found in the...

External links

  • International Cocoa Organization
  • The Food of the Gods - the nature, growth, cultivation, manufacture and history of Cocoa, by Brandon Head, from Project Gutenberg

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cocoa bean : by Ray Sahelian, M.D. (4582 words)
The cocoa bean, and tasty products derived from the cocoa bean such as chocolate, and the beverage cocoa, popular with many people worldwide, is rich in specific antioxidants particularly polyphenols, with the basic structure of catechins and epicatechin, and especially the polymers procyanidins, similar to those found in vegetables and tea.
The alkaloids theobromine and caffeine are responsible for the stimulant effect of cocoa and chocolate and contribute to the bitter cocoa flavor.
Cocoa powder is rich in polyphenols such as catechins and procyanidins and has been shown in various models to inhibit LDL oxidation and atherogenesis.
From Bean to Chocolate. The manufacturing process of chocolate. (1542 words)
They regarded the precious bean as waste or used it, as was the case among the Aztecs, as a form of currency.
Their fragile branches are not capable of supporting the weight of the precious fruit, which always grows directly on the trunk of the tree, or close to it, near the forks of the main branches.
Cocoa trees can, in fact, grow to a height of 50 feet but, to simplify the harvesting of the crop, they are usually pruned back to a height of 20 feet or so.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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